The Royal Vauxhall Gardens – sometimes known the New Spring Gardens – was one of several hundred so-called ‘pleasure gardens’ in London, designed to showcase the beauties of nature in otherwise built-up metropolitan areas.

Partly landscaped and partly wild, gardens such as those at Vauxhall had their heyday in the 18th century, when owners and developers began to build tea rooms and put on entertainments in the open air. This poster is from the near the end of the era of the pleasure garden, but it shows that lavish evening entertainments were still common: featuring dances, horse shows, musical entertainment, acrobats and ‘fireworks at eleven o’clock’. Vauxhall Gardens went into bankruptcy seven times after this poster was printed, finally closing in 1859.